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Judges 9:1-5

Abimelech Murders His Brothers

9:1 Now Abimelech son of Jerub-Baal went to Shechem to see his mother’s relatives. 1  He said to them and to his mother’s entire extended family, 2  9:2 “Tell 3  all the leaders of Shechem this: ‘Why would you want 4  to have seventy men, all Jerub-Baal’s sons, ruling over you, when you can have just one ruler? Recall that I am your own flesh and blood.’” 5  9:3 His mother’s relatives 6  spoke on his behalf to 7  all the leaders of Shechem and reported his proposal. 8  The leaders were drawn to Abimelech; 9  they said, “He is our close relative.” 10  9:4 They paid him seventy silver shekels out of the temple of Baal-Berith. Abimelech then used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous 11  men as his followers. 12  9:5 He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and murdered his half-brothers, 13  the seventy legitimate 14  sons of Jerub-Baal, on one stone. Only Jotham, Jerub-Baal’s youngest son, escaped, 15  because he hid.

Judges 9:29

9:29 If only these men 16  were under my command, 17  I would get rid of Abimelech!” He challenged Abimelech, 18  “Muster 19  your army and come out for battle!” 20 

1 tn Heb “brothers.”

2 tn Heb “to all the extended family of the house of the father of his mother.”

3 tn Heb “Speak into the ears of.”

4 tn Heb “What good is it to you?”

5 tn Heb “your bone and your flesh.”

6 tn Heb “brothers.”

7 tn Heb “into the ears of.”

8 tn Heb “and all these words.”

9 tn Heb “Their heart was inclined after Abimelech.”

10 tn Heb “our brother.”

11 tn Heb “empty and reckless.”

12 tn Heb “and they followed him.”

13 tn Heb “his brothers.”

14 tn The word “legitimate” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarification.

15 tn Heb “remained.”

16 tn Heb “people.”

17 tn Heb “in my hand.”

sn If only these men were under my command. One might assume from v. 26b that the men were already at his disposal, but perhaps that was not one of the terms of the agreement. Another possibility is that v. 26 is a general summary statement, with vv. 27-29 then detailing how the alliance with Gaal came about.

18 tn Heb “said to Abimelech.” On the other hand, the preposition ל (lamed) prefixed to the proper name may be vocative (see R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 178). If so, one could translate, “He boasted, ‘Abimelech…’”

19 tn Heb “Make numerous.”

20 tn The words “for battle” are interpretive.

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